Nigerian is a home of all human diversity. It is globally known for the Nollywood movies, an industry that has held a significant position in the Nigerian economy and as a result produced many seasoned actors, actresses, script writers, film producers, directors among many other professionals in this industry. However, the movies industry is not the only booming industry in Nigeria as Music and entertainment is equally doing well. There are many talented and popular Nigerian musicians who have made the country gain both local and international recognition.
The list of popular Nigerian musicians is long since the country flaunts in producing many music artists and as a result this industry has become highly competitive. There are new artists who are coming up very first completely talented and are hitting the market by storm and on the other end are the legendary top Nigerian musicians who are working extremely hard to maintain a strong position in the music and entertainment industry.
The good thing is that even as the industry grows, the masculine and feminine Nigerian music artists almost share an equal cake although the male musicians are numerous and have taken strong positions in the industry. Nevertheless, female artists are doing extremely well the likes of Yemi Alade and Tiwa Savage. Similarly the contemporary music is prevalent as opposed to the gospel music although there are top Nigerian musicians in both ends who are doing well. Below are the names of popular Nigerian musicians.
READ ALSO: List of all Yaa Pono songs and albums
Most popular Nigerian musicians worldwide
Music as mention earlier on in this piece has made it possible for talent to be nurtured and people to make a living out of it. In fact most of the music artists you see around are not only living life but living it large in deluxe courtly palatial homes, making worldwide tours, dining with the high and mighty, riding the best automobiles and flying on private jets among other luxurious things they enjoy.
This popularity comes from their notable talents and abilities, hit music tracks, extravagant lifestyle, high net worth, music deals, contracts and endorsements, ambassadorial roles, music label signed in among other things. The above are some of the things fans will ordinarily look at in excess of a thrilling stage music performance, song visual images, composition and sing along lyrics. Below are the most popular Nigerian musicians worldwide;
1. Don Jazzy
He is undoubtedly one of the richest Nigerian music artists. His real name is Michael Collins Ajereh although he is popularly known by his stage name Don Jazzy. He is a musician, songwriter, music producer and director in addition to being a serial entrepreneur a trade he has really mastered. He is the owner and Chief Executive Officer for Mavin Records and Mo’ Hits. He has other investments in the tech world and recently co-founded the Flobyt, which is a technology based company which offers free WI-FI to users who are search staffs about the entertainment industry.
Musically he is a phenomenal artist; has great vocal, show stopping stage performance, a unique thrill and charisma which has made him very influential. In addition to these, Don Jazzy is pretty handsome and has been an envy icon for many girls who wouldn’t mind his attention. Don Jazzy hit songs include; Arise, Dorobucci Highlife, Adaobi, Jantamanta but his is popularly known for hit song Eminado and Looku Looku. He has worked with top Nigerian musicians including Iyanya, Korede Bello, Reekado Banks, Tiwa Savage and others.
Don Jazzy is a multiple award winning artists and one of the Nigerian best musicians. He has won the Headies award twice in 2011 and in 2014, he also has the Producer of the year titles from the Nigerian Music Awards and the Nigerian Entertainment Award and a City People Entertainment Award. Don Jazzy is the Brand ambassador for Johnnie Walker and Samsung mobile some of the deals that has earned him a lot of money. His estimated net worth is approximately $20 million and he makes to the list of top Nigerian musicians.
D’banj is fondly known by his Fall in Love and Oliver Twist songs that received both local and international airplay. This song became the African best seller at the time and as a result he was named the Best Performer of the Year severally. His real name is Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo, one of the most popular Nigerian Musicians. He is a successful Nigerian musician, a talented singer, a television star and entrepreneur. He is has been in our music and entertainment scenes for a while now but he remains as strong as ever and is very relevant in his music works.
He was a onetime close ally to Don Jazzy and together worked for various projects such as the Sony Music Entertainment before the two went separate way to pursue their sole music careers. He has since then rose in his career and he has made a name for himself. During the African Cup of Nations in 2013 he made a remarkable performance that is still in the minds and hearts of many. D’banj is the ambassador for Heritage Bank, Globacom, SLOT, Ciroc Nigeria and Bank of Industry.
Apparently, he is United States based and works with G.O.O.D Music Record Label which is owned by Kanye West. He has made good money with his net worth estimated to be about $16.6 million. He has a huge following online judging by the YouTube views and is one of the greatest Nigerian musicians of all time.
3. 2Face Idibia
He is a music legend and is one of the famous Nigerian musicians to date. His song that gave him the major breakthrough in music is the African Queen song that still receives massive airplay up to this age. He was born in Jos and is a native of the Idoma Tribe of Benue State. His music career began very early in life as he was a member of Plantashun Boys band group although the group has since then disintegrated and 2face ventured into a sole music career.
Musically, he is very successful and has won various Music and Entertainment awards including the KORA, MOBO, MTV, BET, and Channel O Music Video Awards. His well established music brand has been admired by many and as a result thereof, 2Face Idibia has signed up mega business deals with reputable organizations such as Campari, Glo and Partner Mobile.
2face Idibia is highly respected in the music industry because he carried an unspoken authority and is the boss of bosses. Other than being successful in business and music, 2Face has a established a not for profit organization, 2Face Idibia Reach Out Foundation through which he dispenses his philanthropic actions. He is married to Annie Idibia since 2012. This middle aged musician is about $16.4 million worth and for this he makes to the names of popular Nigerian musicians who enjoy great following including YouTube views.
His real name is David Adeleke although he is known fondly by the name Davido while some other fans have dubbed him OBO (Omo Baba Olowo). He is one of the first rising and top Nigerian musicians who have not been in the industry but are seemingly doing well. His hit songs include IF, Fall, Dami Duro, Aye, Gobe and many others. Actually most of the songs he has produced have taken off really well.
Davido was born in Atlanta; Georgia although for a significant part of his life has lived in Lagos, Nigeria. He is one of the money loaded Nigerian music artists; his song If and Fall has over 60 million views on YouTube and he recently revealed that from pon pon sound he has made well over $1 million. Davido is a brand ambassador for AXE designer perfume, Infinix Mobiles, MTN, Pepsi, Guiness and First Bank. These are mega million deals and contract that have really expanded this famous Nigerian musician’s wallet.
His most recent break was the 30 billion concerts, which were totally sold out on tickets long before the concert scheduled day. This just goes to prove how influential Davido is, one of the greatest Nigerian musician of all time. In the last two years, Davido has toured the world making appearances in highlife platforms. He is alleged to have recently acquired a private jet; this is in addition to his admirable collection of high end cars such as Range rover, Porsche and Honda. He owns the HKN Music label alongside his brother Adewale Adeleke. He is estimated to be about 9 billion Naira in worth.
5. Sade Adu
Sade Adu is one of the top Nigerian female Musicians. She was born Helen Folasade Adu and she is British Nigerian in terms of Nationality and spends a great deal of time in Britain. She is a renowned singer and songwriter since 1982 to present; Sade Adu is a fashion designer for men having studied fashion and design from her alma mater, Saint Martin’s School of Art and is a part time model. Her star shone bright after she led the Sade English Band backed up by Stuart, Matthewman and Paul Denman.
She has since then released various music albums such as Diamond Life, Absolute Beginner, Stronger Than Pride, Promise and Lovers Rock. The Soldier of Love which was released in 2010 gave a ground breaking record with overwhelming positive reviews and the first week’s sale of copies did hit 502,000. Sade Adu holds two Grammy Awards titles; Best Pop Performance by a Duo/ Group with Vocals and Best R&B performance by a Duo or Group with vocals. The group has aggressively traveled the world popularizing this album after a 24 years, 10 months and 2 weeks break from music through which Sade Adu raised up her family.
Sade is referred to as the queen of soul and true to that she has the best vocals even at 59 years of age. She is very influential even to this day with the No Ordinary Love video having great viewership on YouTube. He wide based and versatile style of music has made her the most popular Nigerian musician worldwide. Her net worth is estimated to be $53 million.
P-square refers to a duo group of twin brothers, Peter and Paul Okoye who are estimated to be about $31.6 million in net worth when combined. Their music style at the infancy stage took of really well because it was majorly inspired by the Michael Jackson Break dance moves. P-square began their music journey in Jos and has released six albums; Game Over, Last Nite, Danger, and The Invasion. Get Squared and Double Trouble. They have traveled the worlds for music tours, show and performed in high platform sharing a stage with music icons such as Chris Brown.
Their hit songs include, Chop my money, Personally, No Easy, Bring it on among many other tracks. Their artistry work made them receive several prestigious awards in the KORA Music awards, MTN Africa Music Awards, the Headies and the Channel O Music Awards. They also signed an expensive endorsement deal with Glo among other corporate institution the duo has worked with. At the time the group would charge 12 million Naira per show. However, the duo has since then gone separate ways with each trying to embark on music independently. They are still in the list of popular Nigerian musicians as their songs have airplay up to day.
7. Yemi Alade
She is among the richest and top female Nigerian musician in the country today. She is worth about $4.2 million dollars. Yemi Alade has released several songs among them Heart robber, Charlie, Single & searching, Knack am among many other. Nonetheless, her all time thrill is the song Johnny, which open enormous doors for this girl musically. The song has received massive play and she has performed it in various functions. The song has more that 69 million views on YouTube and this is her greatest achievement. Yemi makes appearances and performs across the country and other countries. which makes her indeed a top Nigerian musician.
Other than music, Yemi Alade has made a chunk sum of her money from corporate endorsement deals and ambassadorial roles. She is the face of ABC Relaxer, the brand ambassador for Gandour and international cosmetic company where it is alleged she signed a multi million naira contract with the company. Similarly, she has been linked to other corporate deals with industry giant Close-up and Nairabox.
8. Tiwa Savage
She is one of the young and fresh talents in the music and entertainment industry today – top female Nigerian musician. The songs Kele Kele Love, Eminando, ife wa gbona are some of her accredited works. She has many songs to her name under the short time she has been in the industry. She has been able to network and work with music icons such as Eminem, 50 Cents, Black Eyed Peas and Robbie Williams who enjoy an international recognition.
Upon her early life she had a deep passion for music. She enrolled at the Berklee College of Music where she studied music. During this time she was named among the 24 finalist in the UK edition X-Factor music gala event. Tiwa Savage when rising up backed Mary J. Blige, George Michael, Emma Bunton, Ms. Dynamite Apparently, she is worth $4.82 million. She is the richest female artist in the country, the First Lady of Mavins Record and makes to the list of popular Nigerian musicians.
READ ALSO: Best of Bisa Kdei - songs list
Wizkid is a household name in many homes today. He is also known as the star boy although he is official names are Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun. He started sing before he was at teenage at the age of 11 years. Wizkid is one of the famous Nigerian musicians who found it easy to rise to fame after the Halla at ur boy song release in 2010. He has since then received much recognition locally and internationally and as a matter of fact is a worthwhile export for Nigeria.
He has enviable achievement including nominations to the Grammy awards, invitation to perform in international events and even collaborated with seasoned artists worldwide such as Chris Brown, Kendrick Lamar, Trey Songs, Drake, Alicia Keys among many others. Wizkid , a top Nigerian musician charges 12 million Naira to perform in Nigeria and even higher if it is outside the country. In addition to these he also gets money from endorsement deals with Glo and Pepsi. He lives like a king, has the luxury cars, electronic gadgets and even lives in a palatial home. His new worth is estimated to be 8 billion Naira.
READ ALSO: All Wizkid songs and albums
10. Fela Kuti
Fela Kuti was born Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kutiin October 1938 although he adopted the name Fela Anikulapo Kuti later in life. Anikulapo means one who carries death in his porch implying he carried the destiny to his life and determined when he would die. He is one of the famous Nigerian musicians of all time.
He made a name through the Afrika’70 band which composed songs and made moving music performances with themes ranging from love, social issues and political subjects. He later established a music recording studio, Kalakuta Republic where he produced many songs in the Pidgin English which is understood in most African countries as he wanted his music to be celebrated in Africa. However, even as his popularity cut through different nations, the Nigerian government was not happy with what they addressed in particular and for this reason often found themselves in the wrong side of the law. Often the Kalakuta Republic was under attack.
Fela Kuti was a singer, musician, song writer, composer, an instrumentalist and a political and human rights activist. He was a talented multi- instrumentalist something that still wows many. He would flawlessly play the trumpet, guitar, drums, saxophone, and keyboards and had excellent vocals which could seamlessly get to high and low pitches. His afro beat highlife music genre is something that made him become popular and still remains among the most popular Nigerian musicians’ years later after his death.
READ ALSO: Who is Shatta Wale father?
Kcee worked with his long time friend and fellow artists, Presh under the stage name, KC Presh. However, their music career together would hit a snug and they had to go separate ways after 12 years of working together. Kcee seems to be doing really well musically have recently released enviable tracks such as Limpopo and Pull Over which just explains how talented and skillful he is. Over this time he has been able to get a huge following online and makes to the names of popular Nigerian musicians.
Kcee has been able to re-brand himself a fresh and the market has proved to give him a good reception. His song, Limpopo won the Headies 2013, song of the year title. He has been able to since corporate engagements with Magnum and MTN and is one of the rich and top Nigerian musicians. Kcee is the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2014 peace ambassador. It is estimated that he is about $4.91 million in net worth. He is the brother to the business tycoon, Emeka Okonkwo, E-money.
Top Nigerian gospel musicians
Samsong is one of the top Nigerian gospel musicians, he was born Samson Uche Mogokwu. He developed a deep passion for music in high school and formed a music group, Praise Creations. This goup would then release their first debut album in 1996 under the Ivory Music label, Best of Life. Nonetheless the group disintegrated and Samsong pursued a sole career in Music. In 2002 he released his first album, Count Your Blessings, then Still Counting in 2004 and has since then releases great hits one after the other. This has made him be invited for performances in high end places and travelled the world as a result thereof.
His passion for music has made him share platforms with world’s gospel music sensations such as Donnie McClurkin, Marvin Winans and Panam Percy Paul and in the contemporary music artists D’Banj, 2Face, Donnell Jones among many others. Samsong has the Psalmist Award, Today’s Music Award – the Best Male Vocalist of the Year award and the Amen Awards - Best Male Vocalist of The Year. He was nominated for the Nigerian Entertainment Awards in New York under the category of the Best Gospel Artiste. He truly is one the greatest Nigerian musicians of all time.
She is a woman of valor, the virtuous woman, a God fearing soul and a talented top Nigerian musician. Her real names are Osinachi Kalu although the name Sinach is very popular as she uses it as her stage name. She is one of the top female Nigerian musicians who have made it big musically and even in life. Thank to her talent she has been able to dine and wine with the queens and even enjoy the life’s luxury at the apex.
READ ALSO: 10 best Joe Mettle worship songs in Ghana
Her hit songs include; Way Maker, He Did It Again, Break Every Chain among many other. Coincidentally, she is one artist who seems to have a blessed arm on everything she does in fact most of her songs have hit the airwaves and are sung in churches and religious functions worldwide. The popularity has made her make money through music, business endorsements and even her sole business ventures. She is about $1 million in net worth most of this fortune being amassed from her music talent. She is a great export for Nigerian and the most popular Nigerian musician worldwide.
3. Joe Praize
He is a member of the Christ Embassy Love World church and lead praise and worship therein. His official names are Joseph Omo Ebhodaghe, a music minister, singer, song writer and composer. The name Joe Praiz was adopted after he released his first debut album, My Praise. It has songs that quickly became popular and received many views on YouTube. This opened him to the doors of prosperity musically, in terms of spreading the gospel and his lifestyle drastically changed. However, he has remained very humble and serves God with a inherent passion.
Music has made him soar height he otherwise would not have reached; he has traveled places and still travels the world often. Among the many countries he has toured for music is United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa where he has been to all major towns; Pretoria, Cape Town and Johannesburg as a Nigerian music artist.
Apparently, he has won multiple awards in the Music arts competitions. In 2010 his song; MIGHTY GOD was dubbed as the song of the year among many awards he has scooped. He similarly has been nominated for various music awards under different categories including in the SABC Crown Gospel Award where he was nominated for the Best African Gospel song. His star continues to shine brightly and we may just need to watch how this popular Nigerian musician in the gospel industry will unfold.